Principal Investigator: Sally M. Davis, Ph.D.

Start and End Dates: February 1, 2006 – February 28, 2011

Source of Funding: National Institutes of Health

The Child Health Initiative for Lifelong Eating and Exercise (CHILE) has concluded its five year grant at the Prevention Research Center. CHILE developed, implemented, and evaluated a multidisciplinary, trans-community obesity prevention program among American Indian and Hispanic children ages 3 to 5 enrolled in Head Start programs across rural New Mexico. Head Start is a federally funded preschool program for low-income families. The project, funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), was implemented in sixteen Head Start centers in rural communities throughout the state. Half of the Head Start centers received the CHILE intervention and the second half received the intervention beginning in Fall 2010.

From 2007 through 2011, the CHILE project team conducted measurements at sixteen participating Head Start sites. CHILE project staff measured height and weighed children at two points during each school year. CHILE also measured children's activity level, ascertained how much time they spent watching television, and determined how much and what kinds of foods children were eating at Head Start and at home. The CHILE project team will use these data to determine whether CHILE was effective at increasing children's physical activity, decreasing time spent watching television, increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and decreasing consumption of high-fat foods and sugar-sweetened beverages.

The CHILE intervention includes six components:

• Nutrition and physical activity-based curriculum/classroom intervention for Head Start children;
• Professional development in-service training for Head Start teachers;
• Regular training and support for Head Start cooks and food service staff;
• A home and Head Start-based program for families;
• inclusion of local health care providers as change agents and role models; and community grocery store program to increase the availability and promotion of healthier food options

The CHILE Plus project takes over in 2011 and can be found here:


Browse the CHILE Collections: